Follow these tips from area experts to tackle the long Labor Day travel weekend on the road, in the skies


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — With the long Labor Day weekend here, it means you’ll need to pay more attention to the roads as it’s expected to be busy.

That can also be said for the airports in Eastern North Carolina as a large number of people have already made plans to fly out for the holiday.

“The planes are full is what I’ve been told,” said Bill Hopper, PGV Executive Director. “We’re expecting some good passenger numbers.”

Airports in ENC, like Pitt-Greenville Airport and Albert J. Ellis in Jacksonville, are expecting to see more people board flights this weekend.

“It’s a little bit busier than normal and that’s something to be aware of as far as arriving early and making appropriate preparations in terms of your flight,” said OAJ Deputy Director Mitch Sprunger.

This means you should prepare ahead of time for the crowds.

“Arrive early. If you can pre-check before showing up that’s advisable,” Sprunger said. “If you’re not a frequent flyer, familiarize yourself with the hub that you’re flying into. From here that would be Atlanta or Charlotte. Those airports can get pretty hectic.”

When you’re heading back to Eastern North Carolina after the weekend is over is when you should prepare the most.

“When you’re going out of PGV, you don’t necessarily need to arrive terribly earlier, but if you’re on the other side or flying out of some of the larger airports, you need to get there two hours early,” said Hopper.

This is the second Labor Day holiday with the COVID-19 pandemic, so there are still some guidelines to follow at the airport.

“You need to be wearing a mask in the terminal buildings and onboard the aircraft,” said Sprunger. “If there is international travel in your plans, then that is something you need to be aware of and do some research on ahead of time.”

Marty Homan, Communications Officer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, said they expect pre-pandemic summer travel on the roads over the next three days. The NCDOT is telling people to stay alert on the road and obey all traffic laws.

“We always just encourage people to take time going where they’re going,” said Homan. “Not drive distracted, not drive impaired and try to take time going where you’re going so everyone can get there safely.”

Homan also said Friday and Monday are typically the busiest travel days of the Labor Day weekend. They’ve stopped most road construction across the state to accommodate for the increase in travelers.

“We encourage folks to leave early if they can to get a head start on where they’re going and then try to travel during non-peak times if it’s possible,” Homan said.

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